The Real Estate Law Review: Editor's Preface

Just as the ninth edition of The Real Estate Law Review was being published, the world was thrown into total confusion by the rapid spread of a deadly new disease. Covid-19 has affected the global economy like nothing this generation has experienced, with every major jurisdiction forced into a series of lockdowns. However, it must not be forgotten that the pandemic is primarily a human tragedy with more than 93 million cases globally and 2 million deaths. As we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel, the global health crisis will undoubtedly complete its transition into an economic one, with significant global debt and widespread unemployment. Covid-19 will leave its mark on all aspects of how we live and work, including each and every sector of the global real estate market.

A great deal has happened since the first edition of The Real Estate Law Review appeared in 2012, but nothing more significant than the covid-19 pandemic, a truly global crisis. This tenth edition of The Real Estate Law Review will continue to prove its worth by providing readers with an invaluable overview of how key markets across the globe operate and how they react to major world events. Covid-19 has served as a stark reminder that it is no longer possible to look at domestic markets in isolation. Investors and their advisers need to understand real estate assets in the context of global events, and The Real Estate Law Review continues to help its readers to do just that.

This edition extends to 27 key jurisdictions around the world, and I am very grateful to all the distinguished practitioners for their insightful contributions. Each chapter has been updated to highlight key developments and their effect on the relevant domestic market. Together, the chapters offer a helpful and accessible overview of the global real estate market. Overseas investors are key influencers in most markets, and it is vital that practitioners are able to advise on a particular deal in the light of an understanding of their client's own jurisdiction.

In the year that the UK finally left the EU and Joe Biden became president of the United States, the significance of Brexit and American politics have been put into perspective by the covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 is a truly global issue affecting every jurisdiction and, of course, its real estate market. In the background, and almost forgotten, Brexit and the associated economic and political fallout has continued to be a concern for the UK economy and its real estate markets. Although investment volumes fell off a cliff in the first half of the year, we have started to see interest from both overseas and domestic investors, underlining the continued importance of UK real estate as an investment asset. The world's cache of investment capital is likely to prompt a surge in investment activity once some degree of confidence returns. The UK, and London in particular, seem certain to remain attractive to overseas investors looking for a safe haven for their funds. The next few years will undoubtedly be challenging as we begin the road to recovery, but opportunities will arise, and real estate will remain a key part of investment strategies.

Once again, I wish to express my deep and sincere thanks to all my fellow contributors to this tenth edition of The Real Estate Law Review. I would also like to thank the members of the Law Review team for their sterling efforts in coordinating the contributions and compiling this edition. Finally, I wish everyone the very best of health for 2021 and beyond.

John Nevin
Slaughter and May
February 2021

Get unlimited access to all The Law Reviews content